Enduro

KTM Take Strong Team Into 2018 World Enduro Super Series

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Multiple world champion Taddy Blazusiak has come out of a very short retirement inspired by the new World Enduro Super Series. Photo: Marcin Kin
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have unveiled a power packed fiver-rider line-up for this year‰Ûªs inaugural World Enduro Super Series.

Hard enduro specialists Taddy Blazusiak, and Jonny Walker will be joined by classic enduro experts Josep Garcia and Nathan Watson. FMF KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Cody Webb also joins the team.

The World Enduro Super Series combines a mix of hard enduro, classic enduro as well as cross-country and beach racing events in a seven-round series run over the course of 2018. WESS offers a new challenge to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team and will provide a true test of skill, stamina and adaptability.


Opening with the Extreme XL Lagares hard enduro in Portugal on May 11-13, each of KTM‰Ûªs five official riders will bring their own unique skills set to the new series. All hoping to excel in their specialist events, in the races in which they have less experience the focus is very much on rising to new challenges. Only at the climax of the season will the ‰Û÷Ultimate Enduro Champion‰Ûª be crowned.

Multiple world champion Taddy Blazusiak cites the WESS as the main reason for his return to competition. The Erzbergrodeo winner sees the WESS as a stand-out title he‰Ûªd like to add to his already glowing CV. Taddy narrowly missed out on claiming a seventh world title at the final round of the 2018 SuperEnduro World Championship and is more fired up than ever to win the World Enduro Super Series.

"I believe the WESS is what enduro needs at the minute to progress as a sport," Blazusiak stated. "I am really excited about the championship and I am really looking forward to the start of it. To be honest, I like every single event on the calendar. They are all unique and very special and from the first to the last race I think it is going to be really good fun.

"Part of the biggest challenge is going from the SuperEnduro series straight into the outdoor races and then having to adapt to all the different styles of events. My ultimate goal is definitely to do all I can to win the World Enduro Super Series, that‰Ûªs why I am back racing. I really believe I have a shot at it ‰ÛÒ I am going to do everything I can to make it happen.‰Û
Former Erzberg winner Jonny Walker is an excellent all-rounder and sure to feature during the championship. Photo: Marcin Kin
Experienced hard enduro rider Jonny Walker is another with his eye on the WESS title. The former Erzberg winner is as at home racing on a beach as he is in extreme conditions. An excellent all-rounder, Jonny is highly-motivated ahead of the new championship start.

"I‰Ûªm really looking forward to the start of the World Enduro Super Series. It‰Ûªs a new challenge for everybody and should make for some really good racing," Walker predicted. "To be honest, I‰Ûªm not looking forward to just one race either, I‰Ûªm looking forward to the full series. We have Erzberg and Romaniacs, which I have done before, but there‰Ûªs also a few races like Le Trefle and the Red Bull Knock Out beach race which pose new challenges. I think to win the series, consistency will be key. I have a lot of learning to do, but my goal is to try and win as many races as possible and hopefully be in a good place come the final rounds of the series.‰Û
2017 Enduro2 World Champion Josep Garcia has made the move to the tough stuff and has spent the off-season focusing on the WESS. Photo: Marcin Kin
2017 Enduro2 World Champion Josep Garcia has spent the off-season focusing on the WESS and the different styles of riding required to excel in the series. Previously Garcia‰Ûªs training would consist solely of special test enduro and motocross practice, with hard enduro now added to the Spaniard‰Ûªs calendar Josep has been spending a lot of time on his KTM 300 EXC TPI, to familiarize himself with terrain synonymous with some of the world‰Ûªs toughest offroad races.

"The World Enduro Super Series will be a massive new challenge for me," Garcia sais. "There are a lot of different races, sand races, extreme and classic enduro. It‰Ûªs going to be a very interesting year. It will be difficult, but my goal is of course to win. I believe that with the right training and if I can gain some knowledge from my more experienced team-mates, I will be in with a chance. I really enjoy the technical riding and I have been putting a lot of work in. It will be interesting to see if it has all paid off come the first race in Portugal.‰Û
Following two years of riding classic enduro Nathan Watson knows where his strengths lie and where he needs to concentrate his training. Photo: Marcin Kin
Nathan Watson‰Ûªs background in motocross and beach racing sees him as one of the favorites to take the win at the final round of the WESS, the Red Bull Knock Out in the Netherlands. Similar to team-mate Garcia, it will be the hard enduros that pose the biggest challenge to the young Brit. Following two years of riding classic enduro Watson knows where his strengths lie and where he needs to concentrate his training.

"I‰Ûªm really excited to be a part of the World Enduro Super Series. It‰Ûªs going to be a big challenge for all of us as it‰Ûªs made up of so many different types of enduro," Watson said. "I know the extreme races will be tough for me, I have never done one before but I know what to expect.

"I have been doing a lot of specialist training, so hopefully it will pay off. Of course, the event I‰Ûªm looking forward to the most is the final round ‰ÛÒ the Red Bull Knock Out. I love beach races, I have ridden beach races all my life so I am really confident in the sand and it has to be one of my favorite types of terrain. I think the winner of the whole series will be the rider who makes the most of his strengths, while minimizing his losses ‰ÛÒ hopefully that can be me.‰Û
Former trials rider Cody Webb is looking forward to contesting the different styles of events but is aware of the size of the task ahead of him. Photo: Marcin Kin
FMF KTM Factory Racing‰Ûªs Cody Webb recently added the 2018 SuperEnduro World Championship to his 2017 Endurocross title. On form and ready to take on the WESS challenge, the former trials rider is looking forward to contesting the different styles of events but is aware of the size of the task ahead of him.

"The World Enduro Super Series is a whole new thing and I‰Ûªm really excited to be a part of it. It‰Ûªs going to be really crazy doing all these different events, you‰Ûªve got classic enduro, extreme, beach races ‰ÛÒ it‰Ûªs going to really help me branch out and widen my abilities," Webb shared.

"With the WESS, there are so many different types of riding, but fortunately riding for KTM, I have got a great choice of machinery for all the different disciplines we will ride during the series. For the extreme stuff I think I will be riding the new KTM 300 EXC TPI 2-stroke, but for the classic enduros I will probably stay on the KTM 350 EXC-F. On the beach I think I will be riding the KTM 450 EXC-F ‰ÛÒ I‰Ûªm a decent sized guy so I need all the power I can get. I can‰Ûªt wait to get started and hopefully by the end of the year I‰Ûªll have a chance at taking the title.‰Û

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